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US Extruders Unveils New Features in Medical Extrusion Line

Image courtesy of US Extruders Med-Ex medical extrusion system
The update includes a direct-drive system, which eliminates gear oil and particulates produced by belt drives.

At this week’s co-located Plastec West and Medical Design & Manufacturing (MD&M) West event in Anaheim, CA, medical extrusion specialist US Extruders introduced an update to its Med-Ex extrusion line. The innovation is suited for both high-mix, low-volume and scaled, high-volume production.

One major key feature of the update is direct-drive technology, which delivers precise speed control and quiet operation. There is no gearbox or belt drive, eliminating gear oil and airborne dust particles from belts. This is especially important when extruding in a controlled manufacturing environment.

To meet the increasingly stringent quality requirements within the medtech extrusion space, US Extruders has developed virtual pressure measurement. This technology eliminates transducer and rupture disc ports in the barrel and reduces stagnation points where material can degrade. Degraded material that ends up in medical tubing causes a weak point in the final device, said US Extruders. This is especially important for applications that demand superior quality beyond dimensional requirements, where maintaining mechanical properties is paramount, the company added. Examples include medical balloon tubing, heat-shrink tubing, and polymer stent tubing.

US Extruders also has developed a custom universal barrier/mixing screw specifically designed for nylon 12, PEBA, and thermoplastic urethane reflow compounds that are commonly used in multi-durometer catheter jacketing applications. This screw design, combined with either pressure control or a melt pump, allows for optimal melt temperature uniformity and pressure stability better than 1%, according to the company.

US Extruders also took advantage of the event to introduce Steve Maxson, its new Innovation and Business Development Manager. His mandate is to develop extrusion solutions that support next-generation medical technologies, and his responsibilities encompass implementing sales, marketing, and product development programs, said the company.

Maxson has more than 20 years’ experience in medical extrusion, catheter manufacturing, and sales and marketing. He most recently served as the VP of Sales and Marketing at Custom Profile, a developer and manufacturer of specialty thermoplastic profile extrusions and sub-assemblies. Before that he was the Vice President of Sales of a multi-site global division within Spectrum Plastics Group. He is a graduate of Wentworth Institute of Technology and holds an MBA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

As the company’s name implies, US Extruders extensively uses US-made components throughout the extruder assembly. It services the tubing, pipe, profile, reclaim, film, sheet, medical, wire and cable, and compounding industries by producing extruders ranging from 0.5- to 8-inch barrel diameters.

US Extruders is exhibiting at booth 1450. The co-located Plastec West and Medical Design & Manufacturing (MD&M) West trade show and conference is part of Informa Markets – Engineering (IME) West, which also includes WestPack, automation show ATX, and Design & Manufacturing (D&M). The event runs from April 12 to 14 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, CA.

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